In a sudden development in the Delhi riots case, the police have arrested two prominent members of Pinjra Tod, a self-advocacy group of women students, in connection with the violence. Over the years, Pinjra Tod has taken up several issues of women students rights in university campuses in Delhi and NCR.

According to sources, the north-east district police arrested Natasha and Devyangana for conspiring the February riots. Exact charges under which they have booked is still not clear. Human right activists and student groups of Jamia Islamia University and Jawaharlal University have openly criticised the recent arrests. However, the probe by the Delhi Police in February riot cases show it was orchestrated by outsiders.

“Members of Pinjra Tod who have been arrested on Saturday were responsible for organising the gathering of large number of protesters adjacent to Jaffarabad metro station,” said a senior police officer who is probing the case, on conditions of anonymity.

Despite repeated attempts, the Delhi Police refused to give an official reaction on two arrests that were made.

On February 22, at around 10:30 pm, a large group of people congregated at a road connecting the Jaffarabad Metro Station with Maujpur in north-east Delhi. Initially, the crowd was 250-300 strong but by the next morning on February 23, the crowd increased to 2000-3000.

The Delhi police said the core group was of outsiders. Organisation like Pinjra Tod members were there supported by the locals. Investigations showed their presence wasn’t merely in solidarity with women protestors but were also to escalate the unrest.

Next morning, another set of protest started at the Maujpur traffic intersection demanding the removal of the Jaffarabad protestors blocking their way. The latter led to counter show of strength leading to Hindu–Muslim clashes.

During the riots, 93 people received gunshot injuries. In many places of north-east Delhi, both communities used fire arms. Both communities were after each other and also against police. In some places, the police was caught in the middle, which led to critical injuries to many and several deaths.

The students who have been arrested under UAPA by the special cell of Delhi Police for the riots include Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider. Shifa Ur Rehman, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Shadab, Sharjeel Imam (who has also been charged with sedition for Jamia violence).